This one was finished in the nick of time. Another month or so and I would have missed this winter entirely, and then this sweater wouldn't fit it's intended recipient any more (my five-soon-to-be-six-year-old).
In any case, I found it like this:
And as soon as I pulled it out of the bag, I remembered why I had stopped working on it. I had started with the back and followed the instructions for the ruffle/color change.
I didn't like the fact that you could see the color change in the ruffle, but I knit on anyway.
Well, by the time I had moved on to the sleeves (I think I was anxious to see how the stripes would look since normally I would have done the front panels next), it bothered me enough that I decided to fix the ruffle/color change by changing the color after a few more rows. Then it was perfect.
Still, I knew I'd either have to rip out the entire back panel (yikes) or figure out how to fix just the ruffle from the bottom up in order to match the sleeves and the front panels. I had read, once upon a time, that it was possible to take stitches out from the cast-on edge, so when I pulled the project out again, I decided to give it a shot. Worst-case scenario I'd have to rip out the whole panel and start over. Best-case scenario I'd save myself some time.
Well, you can do it that way and I suppose I must have saved myself a little bit of time, but pulling stitches out from the cast-on edge (rather than the cast-off edge) is a pain. So, I can't say I recommend it unless there's no other way or you just want to pick one stitch out a time for some reason or other.
But happily the finished product fits perfectly and is now (miraculously, since it's neither pink nor purple) my daughter's favorite sweater.
Unfortunately I couldn't get her to stand still long enough to button the sweater up, but I did manage a picture of the fixed ruffle, which despite the finicky nature of its repair, turned out fine. Phew.
Happy knitting everyone!